The barriers

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The Leopoldine wall was built around Livorno in the 1830’s. Its purpose was never of a military nature, although it was used as defense against the Austrians in 1849. But the wall was constructed for customs reasons and to limit smuggling.

The wall originally stretched for about 7 kilometres around the city and here we’ll see what its gates and barrieri look like today, along with some historic photos.

(A barriera is a wide wall opening, defined by twin buildings facing each other on each side of a street, sometimes connected by a roof structure.)

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  • Barriera Garibaldi (or Fiorentina)

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We start at the northeast barrier. The old road to Pisa runs past this obelisk and Piazza Barriera Garibaldi.

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One of the few places where the Leopoldine wall is still standing, leading to Porta San Marco.

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  • Barriera Margherita

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Across the city, at the soutwest end, we find Barriera Margherita, which was the railway station for the Pisa train, before the fairytale villas were built in Viale Italia.

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  • Barriera and Porta San Marco

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The north outpost is the imposing gate of San Marco with its lion on top. The left part of the barriera at the end.

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And the right one, continuing with the wall leading to the Dogana d’Acqua.

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  • Barriera del Porto

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Only one of the two mirroring buildings of the port barrier remains. Via del Molo Mediceo.

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  • Dogana d’Acqua

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The water customs, which used to control the water way to Pisa. Destroyed by WWII bombs, it is now an area undergoing dramatic changes with bold architectural ideas.

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There were also other barriere which have been demolished:

romaBarriera Roma, Viale Nazario Sauro

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maremmanaBarriera Maremmana, Piazza Matteotti

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vittorioemanueleBarriera Vittorio Emmanuele, Viale Carducci

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marePorta a Mare, Piazza Luigi Orlando

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collinePorta a Colline, Via Antonio Gramsci

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